SDP chief Chee Soon Juan may run in Bukit Batok by-election, party still considering candidate

Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan shakes hands with a resident during the party's walkabout in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
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Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan addresses the media before the party's walkabout in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Dr Chee and the rest of his party members greeting residents in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
SDP members attend a briefing in a McDonald's outlet at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 before their walkabout on March 13, 2016. ST PHOTO: CHONG ZI LIANG

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has not decided who to field for the Bukit Batok by-election but there is a possibility that its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan may run.

The party wasted no time in staking their claim on the Bukit Batok constituency by walking the ground there the morning after MP David Ong's resignation.

"We are going to not wait for the starting gun. We are going to start campaigning already and that's going to be an important step for us," party chief Dr Chee told media before he and other party members went on a walkabout around the constituency on Sunday (March 13).

Dr Chee said the SDP has not decided who to field and was still considering all possible candidates, including himself.

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SDP has not contacted other opposition parties but the party is "happy" to discuss the matter if there is a need to do so, he said.

He added that the SDP was "looking forward to a one-on-one contest with the PAP", but had not heard from the other opposition parties with regard to their interest in the seat.

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But he pointed out that SDP had contested Bukit Batok ward before it got roped into a GRC and also when it became a single seat constituency in the general election last year.

Dr Chee had said on Saturday that the SDP will be contesting the upcoming by-election in Bukit Batok SMC, after it was announced that Mr Ong of the People's Action Party (PAP) had resigned and quit the party, where he had been a longtime member before being fielded to contest the 2011 General Election.

Mr Ong said the resignation was over "a personal indiscretion on my part which I deeply regret".

Dr Chee said Mr Ong's resignation over an affair was an "unfortunate incident" and that the family's wish for privacy at this moment should be respected.

He added that the party will raise the same issues it did at the GE such as cost of living.

Several SDP candidates in last year's general election were also present during the walkabout, including Mr Sadasivam Veriyah who stood against Mr Ong in the 2015 general election. He had got 26.4 per cent of the votes, while Mr Ong won over 70 per cent of the vote in the three-way fight. Independent candidate Samir Salim Neji was the third candidate.

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